Photos: 2012 EOY winners

After months of searching and assessing, the 2012 Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® competition winners were announced at an awards ceremony held on Thursday, 6 September 2012 in Johannesburg.

Category winners

Emerging Entrepreneur: Tabisa Nomnganga, Bravo Promotions
Small Business Entrepreneur: Warren Graver, EnviroDeck
Medium Business Entrepreneur: Trevor Davids, Trevor Davids Plumbing
Innovator of the Year: Stuart Forrest, Triggerfish Animation Studios
Job Creator of the Year: Madelé Ferreira, Mooihoek Boerdery

Overall winner

Entrepreneur of the Year® 2012: William Duk, The Plantation Shutter Co.

2012 Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® winner named

winners

After months of searching and assessing, the 2012 Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® competition winners were announced at an awards ceremony held on Thursday, 6 September in Johannesburg.

The overall Entrepreneur of the Year® Winner for 2012 is William Duk of The Plantation Shutter Co. (Pty) Ltd, a business that designs, manufactures and installs adjustable window and door shutters.

According to Nimo Naidoo, project manager of the Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® competition, William was awarded the overall title because of his hard work, entrepreneurial spirit and his ability to transform a bankrupt entity into a thriving, profitable business that services a national clientele.

The competition, widely considered to be the pre-eminent of its kind in South Africa, has served as a springboard for past finalists and winners. Nimo says that the competition aims to honour, benefit and uplift South African SMEs, as well as celebrate excellence in entrepreneurship, thus serving as an inspiration to others trying to succeed in the world of business.

Other category winners that managed to beat hundreds of other South African business owners to win awards are Tabisa Nomnganga of Bravo Promotions, who was awarded the Emerging Business Entrepreneur of the Year® award, Warren Graver of Envirodeck who took the Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year® award home and Trevor Davids of Trevor Davids Plumbing, who won the Medium Business Entrepreneur of the Year® award.

The Job Creator of the Year title was awarded to Madelé Ferreira of Mooihoek Boerdery and Stuart Forrest of Triggerfish Animation Studios was awarded the Innovator of the Year title.

Nimo says that all of the winners demonstrated exceptional entrepreneurial skills and submitted promising entry forms. “All of the 2012 winners were subjected to strict judging criteria to ensure that their businesses were not only sustainable, but also profitable and ethical. The winners were selected from a group of 22 finalists by the competition judges.

“By successfully uplifting local entrepreneurial role models, as the Sanlam / Business Entrepreneur of the Year® competition aims to do, South Africa will be able to build a society that celebrates entrepreneurial activity and success.

“Creating an entrepreneurial society is crucial in stimulating job creation in our country, as well as ensuring that South Africa becomes economically competitive globally,” concludes Nimo.

Lucky chance leads to entrepreneurial success

South Africa’s top entrepreneur of 2012 revealed

In a field of 22 finalists, William Duk, owner of The Plantation Shutter Co., has been honoured with the title of the overall 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year® award in the annual Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® competition.

williamWilliam managed to successfully transformed The Plantation Shutter Co. – a previously bankrupt business – into a leading market player with a national footprint and healthy profits, in just over the space of five years.

According to Kobus Engelbrecht, a member of the judging panel of the 2012 Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® awards, William illustrates the traits of a tremendously talented entrepreneur and is a worthy winner and representative of the competition. “We are very impressed with William’s achievement of transforming an insolvent business into a profitable and sustainable business. His strategy for the future, with specific reference to how he plans to harvest a different market segment, sets him apart from the rest.”

William’s entrepreneurial success began with a classic stroke of luck. He was contemplating purchasing an industrial building in Atlantis, 45km from Cape Town, and little did he know that he would come across a small bankrupt company, operating within the proposed premises. This business specialised in the design, manufacturing and installation of superior quality, custom-designed adjustable louvre window and door shutters.

In the spur of the moment, he decided to take over the debts and liabilities in exchange for a 50% share of the business. Within five years, he has managed to double The Plantation Shutter Co.’s work force and increased its turnover tenfold.

He says that effective leadership, combined with financial prowess, has helped him turn the company around and refocus the existing management to a new vision that has produced impressive achievements. He believes that it is the company’s focus on relentlessly serving their sophisticated market that is the critical factor underlying the business’s success.

For more information on The Plantation Shutter Co. visit www.plantation.co.za

Determined to succeed

tabisa

Western Cape promotions company owner awarded Emerging Business Entrepreneur of the Year® award

Tabisa Nomnganga of Bravo Promotions was awarded the 2012 Emerging Business Entrepreneur of the Year® title in the annual Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® Competition.

Tabisa claimed the title over three other worthy finalists in the 2012 Emerging Business Entrepreneur of the Year® category, which celebrates entrepreneurs who have been in business for less than three years.

According to Tabisa, this award proves that through determination and hard work, small businesses can overcome the many obstacles that they face during the initial stages of starting a business.

Established in November 2009, Bravo Promotions is a vibrant and energetic marketing and communications agency that sets itself apart by specialising in the design and implementation of branded entertainment communication strategies and campaigns. Targeted campaigns focus on exposing their client’s brand to potential customers through dance and theatre performances, thereby ensuring that not only are the brand and products are acknowledged, but that they are remembered.

The company’s unique approach to marketing provides a platform for brands to interact and connect with their target audience in a manner which traditional media is unable to provide. “The key principle of the business is brand engagement and this is achieved by building exciting, relevant and meaningful dialogues between a brand and its customers,” says Tabisa.

According to Kobus Engelbrecht, a member of the 2012 Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year ® judging panel, Tabisa impressed the judges with her ability to recognise an opportunity and turn that into a profitable business. “She is providing an innovative new marketing channel for major brands to reach their target market.”

For more information on Bravo Promotions, please visit their website www.bravopromotions.co.za

Making eco-friendly an award winning idea

warren

Green businessman claims small business entrepreneur of the year® award

Warren Graver, founder and director of Envirodeck, an industry leader in environmentally conscious and sustainable decking products, was awarded the 2012 Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year® title in the annual Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year ® Competition.

This year’s competition saw 12 finalists qualify for the 2012 Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year® category, which celebrates entrepreneurs who, irrespective of the duration the business has been active, posted a business turnover of R20 million or less in the 2011 tax year.

Due to the increasing demand on natural resources and the growing awareness to safely dispose of or re-use non-biodegradable waste, Warren saw an opportunity in the market for a practical alternative solution to timber in the decking sector.

Fast forward eight years and today Envirodeck supplies environmentally sustainable decking and finishing products, as well as tangible solutions for customers across South Africa and Namibia. As a result of the phenomenal market growth in Southern Africa, Envirodeck is now also expanding into Angola, Botswana, Nigeria and Mozambique over the next five years.

Warren attributes his entrepreneurial success to intense research and product sourcing. He says that research continues to fuel the business as innovative technology is constantly growing and evolving within the industry. Another one of Envirodeck’s strengths is partnering with like-minded and professional business partners who share the same passion and energy for the industry.

According to Dr Kerrin Myres, a member of the 2012 Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® judging panel, Envirodeck stood out amongst the other finalists for many reasons. “Warren is riding the wave of the green movement in South Africa, something that only a handful of entrepreneurs are doing right now. Using a high quality raw material, he creates original outdoor products with flair and great design. Envirodeck is a business with a great future.”

For more information on Envirodeck, please visit their website www.envirodeck.co.za

Staying ahead of the game proves rewarding

Western Cape plumbing business owner awarded Medium Business Entrepreneur of the Year® award

Founder and owner of plumbing business, Trevor Davids of Trevor Davids Plumbing, was awarded the 2012 Medium Business Entrepreneur of the Year® title in the annual Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® Competition.

trevorJudges of the competition awarded the 2012 Medium Business Entrepreneur of the Year® to Trevor due to his vast business knowledge and his positive approach to remain at the forefront of the industry’s technological advancement which also helps him to be both more effective and efficient.

Trevor Davids Plumbing has been trading since 1993 and primarily provides a broad range plumbing services to the construction industry in the Western Cape. Over the years the business has established itself as one of the largest Level 1 BEE plumbing contractors and is a preferred service provider for many large construction companies due to its capacity, proficiency with large projects and constant high quality workmanship.

Since obtaining finance from Business Partners in 2002, Trevor has more than doubled sales and increased profits considerably and currently provides work for 140 employees.

Due to its small, cost effective infrastructure the business has managed to service both large construction companies and individual homeowners at the same time. The business has lent its services to larger organisations such as Murray & Roberts, Stefanutti Stocks, Granbuild, New Age Property Developers and many more.

According to Trevor, his success has developed as a result of building and maintaining long-term relationships with new and existing clients and due to the fact that the company strives to deliver value to clients by continuously reinvesting in the business, not only investing in the best modern equipment available, but by also ensuring that they remain at the forefront of the market.

According to Stefan Beyers, a member of the 2012 Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® judging panel, Trevor is a tradesman who built his business through hard work, dedication, tireless effort and continuous learning. “His sound business management skills as well as his knowledge of the industry have enabled him to develop the successful business he has today.”

International acclaim for innovative animation

stuart

Western Cape animation studio owner awarded Innovator of the Year

Business owner, Stuart Forrest of Triggerfish Animation Studios, has been recognised for his entrepreneurial excellence and innovative business skills by being awarded the 2012 Innovator of the Year award in the Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® Competition.

According to Dr Kerrin Myres, a judge of the 2012 Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® awards, Triggerfish is the obvious choice for the Innovator of the Year® award. “Stuart has created a world-class animation business at the leading edge of digital arts, and we anticipate that this business will inspire a host of spin-offs in gaming and related areas. This is an entrepreneur who has seized an opportunity to create an industry.”

Triggerfish was started in 1996, and spent the first 10 years producing animation for commercials and Sesame Street. The animation studio has recently completed its first feature film, Adventures in Zambezia, which is being screened across approximately 70 countries and has also received international acclaim by being screened at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival and Market. Triggerfish are already working on their second feature film titled Khumba, which is scheduled to be completed in 2013, and is expected to surpass the success of Adventures in Zambezia.

According to Stuart, bringing on the right partners and staying committed to the business’s vision despite all the setbacks and challenges is what has made Triggerfish the success that it is today. He says that although the business’s core hasn’t changed at all, it has stayed flexible and kept looking forward at future trends throughout the years, which has ensured that they are still a key player in the vibrant South African animation industry.

He believes that the business’s animation skills are world class and envisions Triggerfish being a major global player in the media and entertainment industry in the next decade by producing original material that has a unique African voice and touch.

For more information on Triggerfish, please visit their website www.triggerfish.co.za

From new ground springs new growth

madele

Eastern Cape female farmer named as Job Creator of the Year 2012

Madelé Ferreira of Mooihoek Boerdery has been named the 2012 Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® Job Creator of the Year. Awarded for her incredible ability to adapt and effectively thrive in a previously unfamiliar industry, Madelé’s business has grown from a few hundred plants in 1998 to a multi-million rand farming enterprise today.

The business was started on a small scale when Madelé initially began farming on land that she leased from her husband. Today, the business produces spinach, leeks and strawberries on a 40 ha farm in the Gamtoos Valley in the Eastern Cape and supplies the distribution centres of three of South Africa’s leading chain store groups, namely Spar, Pick ‘n Pay and Shoprite / Checkers / Freshmark. Madelé currently employs 90 employees at Mooihoek Boerdery.

The farm also currently delivers strawberries to chain stores and markets in Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, Durban, Pietermaritzburg and Port Elizabeth.

Madelé says that Mooihoek Boerdery started as a little girl’s dream of one day marrying a farmer and later evolved into a dream of empowering the working women on the farm. She says that building and maintaining relationships is one of the most important elements of her business as her suppliers, employees and clients are the lifeblood of the business.

She attributes her faith and determination to continually better her business brought her into contact with role players that enhanced, empowered and provided her with the necessary knowledge she needed in the fields of production methods, irrigation and good business practices.

According to Kobus Engelbrecht, a member of the 2012 Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year ® judging panel, Madelé stood out amongst her competition because of the number of jobs she created in a rural area where unemployment is rife. “Not only did she create a sustainable business, but she also provides employment to people who otherwise would only have contributed towards the unemployment number.”